Pretty much everyone in the Brazos Valley associates summer afternoons here with hot and humid. Unpleasant, uncomfortable, sticky, icky and all around miserable are often found in there too, and the list can go on, especially in late July and August.
During times of extreme heat and humidity, the National Weather Service will issue a Heat Advisory or in worse cases an Extreme Heat Warning to remind people that, especially when one of these is in effect, they need to take precautions to stay cool, especially in peak heating hours.
Heat Indices as of 4 p.m. (The reading in Crockett may be a touch high)
The Brazos Valley is in store for plenty more hot and humid days before we start to cool down in the Fall, and it's likely Heat Advisories or even possibly an Excessive Heat Warning will be issued for our area again. And if we're expecting similar conditions throughout the area, why do some counties have advisories and other don't?
First off, the area is under the control of different National Weather Service offices. Leon, Milam and Robertson counties are under the watch of the Fort Worth Office. Lee county is under the jurisdiction of the Austin/San Antonio office, and the rest of our watches and warnings are issued by the Houston office. To complicate matters further, the criteria used for a Heat Advisory can differ slightly between the offices.
In the case of the Fort Worth Office, the requirements for issuing a Heat Advisory are that heat indices are forecast to top 105 degrees and that overnight lows not dropping below the upper 70s.
For the Houston office, if this were the criteria used, seemingly half of the summer would be spent under a Heat Advisory. The criteria for the Houston office is overnight lows not dropping below 80 and heat indices of 105.
An Excessive Heat Warning would be issued if the heat index were expected to reach 115. Thankfully, that doesn't happen too often.
Any way you slice it, it's hot and it's going to stay hot for quite some time. Just remember to take some basic precautions like drinking plenty of water, taking breaks from the heat, and wearing light, loose clothing and everyone should make it through another Brazos Valley summer.
If nothing else, you can be thankful it's not as bad as this time last year. We'd already hit 100 over twenty times in BCS and were in the midst of a severe drought from not seeing more than a trace of rain in over a month.